Internet as text in the classroom is becoming more and more common for educators. It is a new generation and we must adapt to the things that are second nature to them. Using internet in the classroom helps to keep the students engaged and more involved. Since I am planning on becoming a high school history teacher, given the technology, I would find it very easy to incorporate internet into my class. A large portion of learning history and finding out information about past, present, or future events is doing a lot of research.

Research is all about reading through reliable and respected sources to retain information. Many research databases are now online. For instance a lot of academic and historical novels, journals, and books are now scanned online in databases so that anyone can access them. The more the “library” becomes an online assortment of knowledge the easier it will be to apply internet as text in my classroom. As a historian and an educator it is pretty easy to identify what needs to be done in order to get internet into the classroom. First, there needs to be readily available technology in the classrooms. Second, when more reliable, proofread, researched, and peer reviewed work is made accessible online the easier it will be to apply that into a classroom setting.

Below I have included a tutorial on how to analyze a website.


Learning & Creating Online — ORMS 4

The creation or construction of online learning materials is becoming increasingly popular. The new age of education is moving towards using technology to help advance the practice of learning new material and away from pencil and paper. At first the terminology of “online creation and construction” and “create and construct online” sounded very simple yet very confusing. After checking out my professor’s explanation page, which is linked below, it began to make more sense as I broke it down step by step. I will definitely try to incorporate creation of online material in my classroom in order to inspire or create that construction from the students. When you give the students the “infrastructure” to create something there are no limits to what I believe a classroom can achieve. In today’s education system I think putting to use that old school style of teaching but twisted with the new DNA of technology will allow online construction and creation of content very interesting to see going forward.

Construction and/or Creation of Online Content

What challenges occur when students are empowered to create online “text” and share globally with others?

Creating online “text” and being able to share it with the whole world through the click of a button is really a scary thing. Even in the people in the spotlight have a hard time using the internet for “good” rather than “evil” so to speak. For instance presidential candidate Hillary Clinton doesn’t know which email to use to, and Team USA basketball player Draymond Green doesn’t know which button to press to keep his private parts off the internet. Think about what kinds of trouble a high school aged student could get him/herself into when they are encouraged to share with the world their ideas. What if the students “text” is interpreted differently? That can turn around and be spun to mean something completely different than the student meant. How do we know, as teachers, whose ideas are being put into the creation of online material when working in groups? Technology and working together online is somewhat of a foreign idea in high school classrooms. The teachers of this generation are the guinea pigs for technology and advancing education through online content, but there are sure to be many difficult challenges and obstacles to overcome as we play around with educating our students using technology.

Online Reading: True or False? — ORMS 3

What challenges exist as our students search and sift online informational text? As a history major, and future historian, research is the key to my craft. I have been through it all when it comes to online research. Sifting through the web looking for information for hours then realizing you haven’t done much of anything is a real drag. The challenges that exist when searching online for informational text are pretty obvious. First and foremost you have to figure out whether what you are reading is factual. When you are researching a specific topic the best way to figure out the facts of the event is to have many different sources, from many different time periods, written by many different people. Once you have a good amount of sources you can read through them all and decide for yourself what is true and what you think may not be true. Another problem is that with the advancement of technology over the last few decades we want immediate answers. Some information may be online, and they even are starting to scan books online, but sometimes you need that one hardback book that is in Hawaii and cost 100$ to be sent over. If we could somehow make all books and research tools available online, or more easily accessible, then it would be a lot easier to search online.

The amount of time we spend on our phones, computers, and other electronic devices pretty much guarantees that we have all read something online that was not true. Most of the time the articles that “fool” us online are on TMZ or some social media site, but many times informational, or academic, writing’s online are often misinformative. It is much harder to determine whether or not an informative, or academic, article is right or wrong because most of the time they are so elegantly put together. Often times I come across an “academic” article that is written with a certain agenda, which can be very confusing/misleading. The best thing to do is to research the author and find out his bio, or you could even send him/her an email. I don’t have a definitive answer when it comes to figuring out a solution for learning online, but the more research and the more answers I look for online the closer to the truth I seem to get. It takes practice, but the more you research and read online the better you will get at figuring out what is BS and what is helpful.

What does “text” do for you?

The word text can mean a lot of different things. It can mean anything  from “texting” your friends, which is enjoyable, to reading a “text” for class tomorrow which is not as enjoyable. I would define text as a form of written work that can represent, describe, or inform one of a specific topic, institution, or instruction. Text comes in many different forms. For example it could be numbers, letters, or symbols.

Below is the vine I did for class to show examples of text, and of course the best form of text is the Duncan St. sign because after all my name is Austin Duncan 😀

Now the real question is this: What does this mean for literacy practices in the classroom?

When we think of “text” in a classroom it automatically triggers thoughts of a professor making you read some boring passage from a book and then him leading a discussion of it. Or even worse it might bring back memories of a mono-tone professor reading off of PowerPoint’s. With the use of technology such as Vine and Instagram it can make something very boring seem very interesting.

My vine is the perfect example. If I were to write down a description of The College of Charleston and compare it with the 8 second video I made the video would definitely give you a better feel for what I was trying to describe. The difference is that Vine has video, which is more entertaining, and text. Simple pen and paper text can be very dry and boring at times, but when you use technology such as videos to SHOW text it can bring it to life in a whole new way. You can easily translate this into the classroom by incorporating video and technology into your class so your students can use visual and auditory learning while also gaining interest in a certain subject because it now seems more fun and less like work.

Working Collaboratively — ORMS 2

Education is moving towards more technology based teaching. When students work collaboratively in the classroom, or online, I agree that it leads to great learning experiences. When the students collaborate they essentially are teaching each other instead of listening to a teacher drone on about whatever the subject may be. Working together presents some difficult obstacles. It sounds great to have your students work together and teach each other, but how often is every student in that group providing a helping hand? As a teacher, I am not 100% sure on how I would go about finding a solid way to monitor whether or not each member has put forth ideas and helped with the collaboration. I agree that by linking students together they can learn more and teach each other more, it will be difficult to motivate those “slackers” who want to get an A by making Susan and Sally do all the work. When students are committed to learning online collaboration can be an amazing tool because you can access the information whenever you want to, and you can link ideas with people all across the world. As a student I love to work in groups, but it can create problems. Any thoughts on how to make online collaborative learning run smoothly?

I like the example that JSB showed with the surfers and how they used the video camera along with brainstorming to develop new surf moves. If you can translate that into the academic field as they have done at the College Prep high school in Oakland, then I think great strides can be made in online collaborative learning.

Hello Internet

My name is Austin Duncan and this is my very first blog post ever! I intend to use this blog to connect with colleagues, but when I begin teaching I also envision using this blog to post assignments online for my students/parents to look at outside of the classroom. I plan to use this blog to share assignments, readings, and random tidbits pertaining to the class. It seems to make things a lot easier when everything you need for class can be found on one website. I look forward to interacting with my fellow bloggers. 😀